The TV box set has modified and interfered in activities and habits of individuals, families and societies since its “intrusion” in our life, in the late 1920s. By activating the TV box set located in the CCS Bard Student Lounge, Interferences tests the ability of this medium to subvert the passive television viewer model and activate an unconscious teaching and learning method.
Media artworks from invited artists are shown on a loop, one at a time, for three consecutive days, from Monday to Wednesday, in the CCS Bard Student Lounge. The disruptive character of a TV box set in the student lounge is a strategy for Interferences to link artworks directly with the educative character of CCS Bard. Proposing an indirect but also quite persuasive way to interact with media artworks, Interferences questions what it means for an artwork to be perceived in this liminal space: a meeting point, a passage, and a studying area.
DECEMBER 10 – DECEMBER 12, 2012
Alejandro Cesarco, Zeide Isaac (2009)
This16mm film, transferred to DVD, presents the testimony of Isaac, Holocaust survivor and zeide (grandfather in Yiddish) of the artist. Isaac reads to us the script that Cesarco himself wrote for his grandfather. This collective work along filial lines involves a transfer of information that passes from experience through personal memory to collective memory. Cesarco relies on Isaac´s role of survivor to expose the divergences between reality and its representation through a mutable recollection of historical events.
“What I recall, what I repeat, and reenact, is in fact the memory of my memory,” says Isaac. Zeide Isaac (2009) delves into the process of iteration to present the intricate processes of generating personal memory, and further, its codification as collective memory. Thus Isaac, who is portrayed in the familiarity of his home, becomes an actor of his own story , which through the repetitive narrative, ends up becoming an institutionalized history. Neither the house nor the elements of the narrative offer an intimate portrait of Isaac. While Cesarco demystifies the emphasis on personal view, he is also highlighting the relevance of the particularities and differences of individual personal memories to history.
The role of language predominates in each of Cesarco´s projects regardless of format or artistic medium–books, lithographs, letters or films. The repetition and transformation of meanings and images across language is also presented here with the voice of Isaac–who has become his own narrator–as well as at the level of translation from Spanish to English via subtitles. An investigation of both these elements–narration and translation–are common features of Cesarco´s works.
Alejandro Cesarco is a Uruguayan artist based in New York City. He works across many formats that lend themselves to a consideration of the construction of narratives, including prints, video and collections of objects.
NOVEMBER 26 – NOVEMBER 28, 2012
M-art1 Mobiliario Urbano (2006-2008), by the collective M-art1, is based on six ephemeral urban actions in Madrid and Rome. Far from being simply a documentary of M-art1´s actions, the postproduction of the video brings emphasis to the artists´ social and political claims regarding the consumption and wastefulness of contemporary life. The moment of engaging in the public sphere is reactivated by this additional layer that animates the video footage.
M-art1 Mobiliario Urbano is comprised of two moments of production. Firstly, the artists dressed as laborers meticulously wrap, spray paint, then unwrap an urban fixture—a dumpster, a water fountain, a potplant, a rock. Each of these objects assumes a different presence when altered, both in the action that’s documented and then further, through animation. The apparent transformation of the objects across these multiple layers taps into a collective imaginary, through popular imagery of natural and environmental resources. Rather than promote the state of consumption as the accepted way of life in “developed” societies, M-art1 suggests of other readings — a telephone box is overlaid with a mute, grimacing mouth; a flowing Roman fountain is converted into a cactus, and a dry bush is enlivened as a flourishing cascade.
The distinction between the straightforward record of the urban actions and the kitsch aesthetic of the video animation are remarkably clear. Nevertheless, M-art1 Mobiliario Urbano privileges the rhythm of the street and its citizens who look on in surprise, unaware of what’s taking place. In this, the role of the street as a public space with the potential for interaction and direct communication is shown to be paramount for M-art1, even with the short-lived urban transformations they enact.
M-art1 is composed of Joe Alonso, 3ttman, and Martin Lefebvre. As a collective, they investigate ways of expanding street actions through media language and effects in order to find more perceptive and readable platforms with which to reach a larger public. In this instance, the streets of Rome and Madrid become the setting in which M-art1 continues their investigation into the potential of urban furniture (mobiliario urbano).
OCTOBER 22 – OCTOBER 24, 2012
CCS Bard students María Montero Sierra and Marina Noronha are pleased to launch Interferences with Nosferatu in Flight (2011), by Shirin Sabahi.
Shirin Sabahi’s works range from video and slide projection installations to collages and artist books. In her artistic practice, she addresses interpretations and identifications encouraged by language and image in relation to different temporalities, employing translation and transformation and playing with formats and rituals of fabricating and perceiving art and in a broader sense meaning.
Born in 1984 Tehran, Sabahi lives and works in Copenhagen. She is a 2012-2013 film and new media fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart. Her work has been exhibited at 58th Oberhausen Short Film Festival; Aarhus Kunstbygning; Konsthall C, Stockholm and 7th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre among others.